Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Feb. 25, 2020

Toyota Tacomas are some of the most frequently modified vehicles on the road. An extremely supportive aftermarket and a cult-like following make these trucks a blank canvas for an owner to express their style and taste. Popular modifications are lift-kits, nerf bars, lighting kits, and roof racks.

Here is our list of the six best Toyota Tacoma Roof racks. We’ll highlight the best overall, the best value, and the best premium pick, while also telling you about a few other choices that might meet your needs.

Best Toyota Tacoma Roof Rack

The Autoxrun Roof Rack for the Toyota Tacoma double cab is our pick for the best overall on our list of the best Toyota Tacoma roof racks. The Autoxrun has a no-drill, no-cut installation method, so it installs and removes easily.

The Autoxrun Roof Rack is made of aviation-grade aluminum, making it both lightweight and strong. The rails are also waterproof, so you’ll have less to think about when it’s sitting on your roof. It comes in black, so it will match the other popular accessories that you’ve probably already installed on your Tacoma.

Key Features
  • Folding crossbars
  • Constructed from aviation aluminum 
  • Easy installation
  • Low-profile for fuel efficiency
Specification
  • Brand Autoxrun
  • Model Autoxrun-CB-TM-Black
  • Weight 11 pounds
PROS

Designed to install without drilling or cutting

Lightweight and easy for one person to install alone

Attractive appearance once installed

CONS

Might require modification to install

Several users complain of hole misalignment

Hardware quality may be lacking

The SnailAuto Black Roof Rack is the best value we’ve found during our research. This aluminum alloy roof rack is water- and corrosion-resistant for long-term use.

SnailAuto’s Toyota Tacoma double cab roof rack is a good choice at a low price. Its no-modification installation is ideal for leases or anyone looking to leave their Tacoma untouched. It has a 165-pound weight capacity, and the crossbars easily fold away when not in use. This reduces wind resistance and noise.

Key Features
  • Aluminum alloy construction
  • Folding crossbars
  • 165-pound capacity
  • No modification required
Specification
  • Brand SnailAuto
  • Model SnailAutoTCA00500H000XLJ0
PROS

High weight-capacity for bikes, kayaks, and other gear

Should be easy to install on a double cab Tacoma

Looks good and rugged when installed

CONS

Installation instructions have to be requested

Packing and shipping might be an issue

Some of the descriptions and information are vague

If you’re in the market for a hard-working off-road rack, the Hooke Road Tacoma Top Roof Rack Cargo Carrier might be the ideal choice. This heavy-duty roof rack is perfect for anyone looking to get extra space for their adventure gear.

The best feature this Tacoma roof rack has to offer is its massive cargo area, measuring more than 3 ½ feet across and nearly 4 feet long, so you’ll have plenty of space for spare tires and fuel tanks. It also comes with a pair of off-road lights mounted across the front to provide extra light on rough terrain.

Key Features
  • Solid steel construction
  • Includes a pair of off-road lights
  • Large cargo area
  • Comes with five years of corrosion protection
  • Black powder coat finish
Specification
  • Brand Hooke Road
  • Model QP.BXG-408
  • Weight 65 pounds
PROS

Heavy-duty for hard use

No need to buy a light bar

Looks great compared to smaller racks

CONS

Very heavy

Steel rusts easier than aluminum

Requires bolting into the cab

The Modifying Toyota Tacoma Crossbars Roof Rack is another good choice for anyone needing to haul some cargo without spending a lot of money. This rack is made with both aluminum-alloy and ABS plastic, so it’s lightweight and won’t rust.

Like some of the other racks on our list, this roof rack is intended to be installed without any modification to your truck. Also, this rack is listed at just 15 pounds, so it won’t add much unnecessary weight to your truck.

Key Features
  • Folding crossbars
  • No modifications required to install
  • Lightweight, anti-corrosive materials
  • Low-profile to reduce wind noise
Specification
  • Brand Modifying
  • Model MD7614TT
  • Weight 15 pounds
PROS

Looks nice on double-cab Tacomas

Light and easy to install

Increases storage space for lightweight items

CONS

Only has an 80-pound weight rating

ABS plastic isn’t as strong as we’d like

Does not come with instructions

The ANTS PART Toyota Tacoma Roof Rack offers a little more capability than most other racks at this price point. The ANTS PART rack is constructed of aluminum alloy and ABS plastic and features a no-drill and no-cut installation.

We like the weight capacity of the ANTS PART rack. At 150 pounds, it offers more than most other racks that can be had for this price. It’s also attractive and the no-modification-required installation process should appeal to buyers. This particular rack also comes with everything you’ll need to install it, including instructions without a request.

Key Features
  • Folding crossbars
  • No modification required to install
  • Low-profile keeps wind noise to a minimum
  • OEM look without the price
Specification
  • Brand ANTS PART
  • Model ANTS PART-NGC-Q001057
  • Weight 17.55 pounds
PROS

150-pound weight capacity

Light and easy to install

Black powder-coat finish should reduce wear and corrosion

CONS

Provided hardware is low-quality

ABS plastic might break or snap

The ROADFAR Roof Rack for the Toyota Tacoma double cab is a good option for hauling heavier gear while still looking good. This architectural-grade aluminum roof rack will haul up to 165 pounds of adventure gear, but folds away nicely when not in use.

We like the extra weight capacity that the ROADFAR offers. It ties for the best capacity on our list for crossbar roof rack systems. It’s also a nice-looking rack with a matte black finish that matches other accessories. It folds away to be more aerodynamic.

Key Features
  • Folding crossbars
  • 165-pound capacity
  • Attractive black finish
  • Wind noise is kept to a minimum
Specification
  • Brand ROADFAR
  • Model Roof Rack
  • Weight 16.98 pounds
PROS

Heavy weight capacity

Architectural-grade aluminum should be durable

Makes the truck look sporty and aerodynamic

CONS

Might need a professional to install

Low-quality hardware might break

May not be a direct fit for your truck

Best Toyota Tacoma Roof Racks Buying Guide & FAQ

Whether it’s for off-road gear or just extra space during a road trip for luggage, a roof rack can be one of the best upgrades to a vehicle, especially a truck. Roof racks make use of otherwise wasted space.

You may not know or understand the benefits that you’ll experience from having a roof rack on your truck. There are features that some roof racks have that others don’t. This buying guide and FAQs will outline the best features, best materials, and what to look out for when choosing your Toyota Tacoma’s roof rack.

Since we’ve pointed out the roof racks that we think are the best, our buying guide will now help steer you towards making an educated and successful purchase.

Do You Need a Roof Rack for Your Toyota Tacoma?

Tacomas are excellent trucks. They’re well-equipped and very capable off-road. They have plenty of power and they often run for hundreds of thousands of miles. However, the one area where the Tacoma might fall short is storage.

Tacomas were built for their off-road capability. They weren’t built to haul. Because of this, they have smaller beds that keep them light and nimble. That’s a great thing when you’re off-road, but if you’re going on a long road trip with your family, you might find that you need more space for your luggage and gear than the bed can offer. A roof rack is a convenient place to store luggage and baggage.

Most people who drive Tacomas live active lifestyles. Many ride mountain bikes and go kayaking. Both of those items can be very expensive, and you might not want to store them in the bed of a truck. For one, items slide around in the bed of a truck, so your high-dollar bike might get scratched or damaged. Also, items in the bed of a truck are easier to steal than items secured on a roof rack, so keeping your kayak on the roof might mean you get to hold on to it longer.

If you like accessorizing your Tacoma, a roof rack is a great way to add a sporty look to your truck. There’s no denying that roof racks on vehicles give the impression that the driver is an active person, so just having a rack on top of your Tacoma makes you and your truck seem cooler.

  • Roof racks provide extra luggage space for road trips or camping gear.
  • It’s easier to keep your expensive sports equipment secure on a roof rack.
  • Roof racks make a truck and its owner seem more active and sporty.

Types of Toyota Tacoma Roof Racks

There are a few different types of roof racks for Toyota Tacomas and you might not be sure which one is for you. They all get the job done, but some excel at one thing more than the other. We’ll do our best to outline the benefits and drawbacks of each type so you can make a better decision about which is the best for you.

  • Roof Cargo Baskets

Roof rack cargo baskets are excellent for strapping down awkward items. Instead of attaching to roof rails, they have to bolt onto the truck’s cab. They need to bolt in because they’re heavy, especially when loaded. These types of roof racks are often seen on purpose-built off-road machines, as they can carry a ton of necessities.

They’re ideal for loading up spare tires, water jugs, extra fuel, and tall jacks. They make the vehicle they sit on look tough and utilitarian. They do a fine job of holding other items like luggage and bags, but their oversized and heavy-duty nature might make them overkill for light use.

  • Folding Crossbars

Roof racks with folding crossbars are an excellent choice for someone who only uses their roof rack every once in a while. The crossbars can easily be stretched across the rooftop to the rails when needed, then folded away afterward. These are the most commonly seen roof racks on vehicles today.

Folding crossbars offer some excellent benefits. If you’re concerned with your truck looking streamlined but still need to be able to haul some extra items every now and then, folding crossbars will do the trick. Also, when folded away, these roof racks do a great job of keeping wind noise unnoticed and improving the aerodynamics for better fuel efficiency. These roof racks are usually vehicle-specific and match the vehicle’s body lines nicely.

  • Universal Roof Rack Systems

Universal roof rack systems are an ideal compromise if you’re looking for a little extra space but don’t necessarily want a full basket on your roof. Universal racks don’t fold away. They stretch from side rail to side rail, often overhanging the side rails by a few inches. This is ideal for large items that might not fit on a folding crossbar system. The extra width can be used for skis or snowboards while the rest of the luggage can sit in the middle, optimizing the space available.

The downside to universal rack systems is sometimes they aren’t all that universal. There are so many different types of cars and trucks on the road these days that it’s hard for a manufacturer to create a truly universal rack. Check with the manufacturer to find out if the rack you’re looking into will fit on your car or truck.

Features to Look for in Toyota Tacoma Roof Racks

Now that you know about the different types of roof racks available on today’s market, we’ll explain the features that you should be looking for when picking out your rack. We’ll cover features like build materials, ease of installation and removal, and styling.

  • Materials

There are several popular materials that roof racks can be constructed of. While most credible manufacturers will use high-quality, dependable materials, it’s worth understanding what materials are out there and what benefits they can offer.

Steel and aluminum are excellent choices for roof rack materials. Aluminum and its alloys are lightweight and won’t rust or corrode, but they aren’t as strong as steel. Steel is heavy, strong, and will hold up to the hardest uses, but is susceptible to rusting and corrosion.

ABS plastic is another popular material, but it’s worth knowing a few things about it before purchasing a plastic rack. In colder temperatures, plastic becomes brittle and may snap on you. Also, plastic racks don’t offer the same amount of weight capacity that metal racks do. They’re lighter weight though, so they’re ideal for light-duty use. 

  • Ease of Installation and Removal

No matter the material or its weight capacity, the ease of installation and removal can be a determining factor when considering a roof rack for your Tacoma. There are several types of installations available on the market, so you need to choose the one that works for you.

If you like flexibility in your roof rack, one that doesn’t bolt to the cab of your truck would be best. They’re easy to install and remove, but you can usually fold the crossbars away and forget they’re even there.

If you like the look of your roof rack and don’t mind leaving it on, the best type of roof rack would be one that bolts into the cab. These racks are usually heavier-duty so you can load them up with more stuff. They’re far more difficult to install, however, so you’ll want to do it once and leave it on.

  • Styling

A roof rack can either blend in with the style of your truck or become a prominent component in the overall design. Consider which of these categories you’d like your rack to fall into.

If you’re just looking to get some extra storage out of your truck for a bike or kayak every now and then, you probably don’t want your roof rack to stand out very much. Folding crossbars can hide in the rails, so choose this style if you like the streamlined look.

If you’re looking to make a statement with your roof rack, throwing a black powder-coated basket rack on your rooftop will do the trick. Basket racks are big and draw a lot of attention upward. They look great on lifted Tacomas with other matching off-road accessories like light bars and oversized tires.

Tips for Buying and Using Toyota Tacoma Roof Racks

When buying a roof rack for your Toyota Tacoma, give some consideration to what you’re going to use it for. Sportsmen that use theirs for camping and fishing equipment will have different requirements than mountain bikers or road trippers. Buy the rack that supports your use and whatever desired accessories you’ll need.

If you’re going to be putting mountain bikes, snowboards, or kayaks on your roof rack, you might want to think about the accessories and brackets you’ll need. While you can get away with strapping them down to the crossbars, better security and organization can be achieved with the proper rack accessories. Snowboard, ski, and bike racks can be purchased separately to work with your roof rack

You should pay attention to how you load your roof rack. You should always try to distribute the weight evenly across the rack. Also, consider how the cargo will affect your wind resistance and fuel efficiency and position it accordingly for the best ride quality.

  • Buy a roof rack that best supports your needs.
  • Consider purchasing snowboard, ski, and bike racks for your sports equipment.
  • Distribute the weight and resistance evenly across the rack for the best ride quality.

Best Toyota Tacoma Roof Racks FAQ:

You may still have some questions about roof racks for your Toyota Tacoma.  Our buying guide provides an excellent start, but it might not include all the answers you need. These are some of the more frequently asked questions when it comes to buying the best Toyota Tacoma roof rack to fit your needs.

Q: Will these roof racks fit all Tacomas?

No, these are for the 2005-2018 Tacomas in the double cab configuration. Roof racks for access cab trucks can be purchased, but they’re harder to find.

Q: Can I mount a tent to the roof racks on this list?

The Hooke Road roof rack comes rooftop-tent-ready with mounting points. The other racks have insufficient weight capacities for rooftop tents.

Q: What accessories can I mount to these roof racks?

Any accessories that work with two-bar roof racks will work with the crossbar racks. The Hooke Road rack will take standard tie-downs and off-road equipment.

Our Top Pick

The Autoxrun Black Roof Rack for Toyota Tacomas is our best overall pick. We like the aviation aluminum, as we know it will last without rusting or corroding. The modification-free installation is excellent for throwing this rack on when you need it and taking it off when you don’t. We like its style, however, so we’d probably just keep it on for its sporty good looks.

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